Child psychologist, Dr. Alex Delaware gets a call in the middle of the night from a patient he has seen in the past but feels that he let the boy down. Now, Jamey Cadmus is in a psychological hospital and begs for help.
When Delaware arrives at the hospital, he finds that Jamey has escaped. When he tries to look into the treatment Jamey was receiving, he's stalled. The following day, Jamey is accused of being the lavender slasher killer. He's said to have murdered a number of homosexual young men in grisly fashion.
Jamey is the heir of the family estate and stands to inherit a substantial amount when he comes of age. He's being cared for by his uncle and guardian, Dwight Cadmus.
The evidence against Jamey looks strong and Delaware is hired by the attorney defending Jamey in hope that Jamey could be found guilty by diminished capacity and sent to a treatment center for the criminally insane.
Digging deeper, everything seems a little too convenient and it makes Delaware want to know more. He's warned off the case and eventually fired but continues to dig. He's aided by his friend, homicide detective Milo Sturgis. They look into Jamey's past and the drug scene in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the Height Ashbury section. Evidence shows possible use of hallucinogens and mind altering drugs. There are a number of interesting twists and surprises.
This is a well done, psychological novel with many secrets hidden by Jamey's family and uncovered by Delaware. Everything isn't as it appears and watching Delaware uncover the truth is an entertaining ride.
There is good background information but maybe a bit too much but I enjoyed the novel and in finding what was transpiring.